The Kroger Co., America’s largest grocery retailer, and Ocado, a world leader in technology for grocery e-commerce, announced Phoenix, Arizona, as the latest location for a Customer Fulfillment Center (CFC). The location confirms a previous announcement stating Kroger and Ocado would construct a CFC in the Southwest Region. The largest grocery retailer in the U.S. will make a capital investment of $89 million to realize the development of the approximately 222,900-square-foot project, according to a January 21, 2021, document from the Phoenix City Council.
Kroger has partnered with Ocado to accelerate its ability to provide customers with anything, anytime, anywhere. The CFC model – an automated warehouse facility with digital and robotic capabilities – will be used to serve customers across the region. Kroger is designing a flexible distribution network, combining disaggregated demand and the proximity of its stores and facilities that vary in design and size.
“Kroger continues to accelerate the expansion of our national network to redefine the customer experience,” said Gabriel Arreaga, Kroger’s chief supply chain officer. “Our partnership with Ocado is and will continue to be rooted in our ability to deliver a value-added customer-centric solution that brings fresh food to customers through our seamless ecosystem.”
“With Kroger we are developing a game-changing ecosystem for serving online grocery to customers across the United States. This includes Ocado’s automated CFCs across a range of sizes, as well as software to optimize fulfilment in stores for curbside pickup,” said Luke Jensen, CEO of Ocado Solutions. “Powered by Ocado’s state-of-the-art, proprietary technologies, this site will be crucial in bringing unrivalled online grocery experiences to homes across Arizona and wider geographies.”
“This exciting new collaboration will create hundreds of new jobs in Arizona,” said Governor Doug Ducey. “Arizona is proud to be one of the first sites in the country to launch this innovative technology. We thank Kroger and Ocado for their investment in our state.”
“Phoenix is a global center of innovation with the experienced workforce and tech ecosystem that makes it a perfect location for Kroger’s Customer Fulfillment Center,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “We are excited to see the potential of an estimated 700 jobs within its first five years of operation. These jobs include but not limited to transportation, warehousing, robotics and technology, which are four of Phoenix’s workforce strengths. The location also takes advantage of our city’s burgeoning, advanced transportation network. Kroger has long been a major part of the Phoenix economy, and this new expansion is a highly welcomed addition.”
This new 200,000-square-foot CFC will accelerate Kroger’s ability to expand its products to a larger footprint.
The CFC is expected to become operational 24 months after the site breaks ground and will support customers across Arizona.